"Music censorship is any discriminatory act that advocates or allows the suppression, control, or banning of music against the wishes of the creator or intended audience" (Nuzem 7). So how common is it in America today? Isn"t artist's freedom of speech protected through the first amendment? Even though the first amendment states "congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" (Nuzum 177), one would be surprised with the number of musicians who have been forced to alter lyrics, who have been the cause of riots, who have had their music destroyed, have had there most famous songs banned from the radio, and even who have had stores refuse too sell their albums. Is this right? Not according to America's constitution. "Censorship of the arts is one of the strongest weapons against freedom" (Lewis 1). The more it is approved and practiced, the more freedom America loses. Music censorship is not American. .
Censorship is not new; it has been around for as long as government has. One of the first documented instances of music censorship in America was during the 1860's. .
Following the Civil War, Southerners are forbidden from publicly singing pro-Confederate songs. Songs like "I"m a Good Ol" Rebel" (with its open and violent disdain for the Northern way of life) and "Bonnie Blue Flag" (chronicling the cessation of the Southern states at the beginning of the war) are thought by Northern occupation forces to foster anti-Reconstructionist sentiment, which could give rise to a Southern rebellion (Nuzum 211). .
Although censorship continued in many minor accounts, it wasn"t until the 1950's that the problem took a drastic climb. In 1953, Six counties in South Carolina pass a law that "prohibits the playing of popular music in jukeboxes anytime on Sunday or anytime within hearing distance of a church" (Nuzum 214). During this decade, many lyrics of popular songs are forced to be changed.